Med Spa FAQ

At Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery, we understand that everyone has questions prior to a procedure, including any of our amazing services at our Med Spa! Learn more about our offerings and contact us to set up a consultation!

Botox & Injectables

How do I get rid of fine lines and wrinkles?

We have a wide range of various solutions to treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles including injectables, lasers and skin treatments. We customize treatments that are best suited to you to give you the best results.

Which non-surgical face lift is the best?

Non-surgical facelifts are a customizable treatment and include a combination of Botox/Fillers.

What is the best treatment for aging skin?

This answer may be different for each individual. Typically, a good skin care regimen is the first step. Hydrafacials, microneedling, laser treatments, and injectables all play a unique role in reversing facial aging. We will customize an individual plan for each patient based on your needs!

Cheek Filler

What does cheek filler do?

Cheek filler is used to help replenish volume loss due to the natural aging process. Replenishing volume back to the cheeks will not only help give a youthful contour back to your cheek but can also improve the undereye area, smile lines, and jowling.

How long does the treatment take?

Treatments can take 45 to 60 minutes. 

Is there downtime?

Downtime can vary between clients. Most clients can go back to work the same day with some redness and swelling. Bruising is a possibility, a bruise can take 7 to 10 to resolve. Makeup can be applied 24 hours post procedure. 

Is there any preparation needed before treatment?

To help minimize bruising risks: avoid NSAIDS, aspirin, and fish oil for 2 weeks and avoid alcohol 48 hours prior to your injection. Arnica Montana can be used 5 days prior to the procedure. Arnica Montana is a homeopathic supplement to help reduce the risk of bruising and swelling. 

How should I care for my skin after treatment? :

It’s recommended to avoid touching the area for the remainder of the day. Ice can be applied throughout the day to help with swelling. Tylenol can be taken as needed for soreness. No makeup should be applied for 24 hours. Avoid exercise for 24 hours to minimize swelling. Avoid any dental procedures for 2 to 4 weeks post injection.

How many sessions and how often?

The number of syringes needed depends on client presentation. You may need anywhere from 1 to 2 syringes per treatment. Depending on the filler used, filler can last up to two years. Most clients return for additional treatment every year.

Who isn’t a candidate for cheek filler?

All medical history should be discussed with your provider prior to your procedure. It’s important to talk to your provider about allergies, past surgeries, and medical conditions. 

Lip Filler

What does lip filler do?

Lip filler is a synthetic form of Hyaluronic Acid. HA is a molecule that pulls water towards itself. Using this, we are able to plump and shape the lips.

How long does the treatment take? :

The appointment is 45 minutes. This includes photos, consultation, numbing, and injecting. The injecting itself takes about 15 minutes.

Is there downtime?

Yes. 48 hours for post-injection swelling, and 5-7 days for bruising to subside. Bruising can be easily covered with makeup.

Is there any preparation needed before treatment? :

To help minimize bruising risks: avoid NSAIDS, aspirin, and fish oil for 2 weeks and avoid alcohol 48 hours prior to your injection. Arnica Montana can be used 5 days prior to the procedure. Arnica Montana is a homeopathic supplement to help reduce the risk of bruising and swelling. 

How should I care for my lips after treatment?

It’s recommended to avoid touching the area for the remainder of the day. Ice can be applied throughout the day to help with swelling. Tylenol as needed for soreness. No makeup should be applied for 24 hours. Avoid exercise for 24 hours to minimize swelling. Avoid any dental procedures for 2 to 4 weeks post injection. Aquaphor can be applied to keep lips hydrated.

How many sessions and how often? :

Depending on product used and your own lip goals, it can take 1-2 sessions spaced 2-4 weeks apart. It lasts around 6-12 months.

Who isn’t a candidate for lip filler? :

Anyone who has silicone placed in the lips, or who has an allergy to hyaluronic acid products.

Microtox

What does Microtox do? 

Microtox is a technique in which multiple tiny injections of Botox or Dysport or Jeuveau are placed into the skin of the face, neck, or chest.  Injecting into the skin helps give a “shrink-wrap” effect. It decreases pore size, fine lines, crepiness, redness and oil/sweat production. Microtox in the neck can also help produce a smoother, lifted, more defined profile.  

Microtox is different from traditional Botox, which is placed into the muscle.  Microtox does not affect muscle movement and expression, making this a great option for those looking for skin smoothing with natural-looking results.  

How long does the treatment take?

Treatment time varies depending on the area(s) treated. Around the eyes just takes a few minutes where a full neck or chest will take roughly 30 minutes to complete.

Is there downtime?

You will have small raised blebs in the skin for about 30-45 minutes.  Bruising is always a possibility as well since a small needle is being used. Makeup can be applied the following day to help conceal any signs of bruising.  

Is there any preparation needed before treatment?

To help minimize bruising risks: avoid NSAIDS, aspirin, and fish oil supplements for 2 weeks and avoid alcohol 48 hours prior. Arnica Montana can be used 5 days prior to the procedure. Arnica Montana is a homeopathic supplement to help reduce the risk of bruising and swelling. 

How should I care for my skin after treatment? It’s recommended to avoid touching the area for the remainder of the day. No makeup should be applied for 24 hours. Avoid exercise for 24 hours to minimize swelling.

How many sessions and how often? 

The duration of results for Microtox is usually about two to four months. 

Who isn’t a candidate for Microtox?

If you are allergic to any ingredient in Botox or another botulinum toxin, you have a skin infection at the planned site of injection, are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Patients interested in treating the under eye area should not have excessive skin laxity or any kind of festoon.  

Laser Therapy

What is BBL laser therapy?

BBL also known as Broad Band Light therapy is a Sciton Laser device that gently heats the layers of the skin to stimulate new collagen. The machine is equipped with cooling features allowing the use of high-powered energy with minimal discomfort.

Does BBL laser help with wrinkles?

Yes! BBL treats wrinkles and produces younger looking skin by improving sun damage and skin texture.

How many BBL treatments do you need? 

Treatments vary although it is recommended 2-4 times per year for optimal results.

What is the Halo laser treatment?

Halo is the first fractional laser that combines ablative and non-ablative technology allowing for minimal downtime with optimal results.  Halo treatments help minimize the appearance of pore size, correct sun damage and brown spots, even skin texture and tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

How long does the Halo treatment last?

Results are apparent after 1-2 weeks and maintenance treatments are recommended yearly.

How do I know what laser therapy treatment to get?

Each laser can offer different benefits and also may include different down times.  Recommendations around choosing the right laser for you depend on your goals, acceptable down time, and your current skin issues and skin type.  Our staff in the med spa will help you understand these issues and find the treatment that is right for you!

How can I reduce sunspots?

The MedSpa offers multiple approaches to reducing sun spots, including topical treatments, laser treatments, or light therapy.  Depending on your skin type and any other issues present, any one of these (or a combination of these therapies) may be recommended.  We are happy to help you understand these options better during your consult with us!

How can I reduce spider veins? 

BBL and Gentle Max Pro laser is often an excellent way to reduce the visibility of spider veins depending on their size and location. Number of treatments can vary.

What is vaginal rejuvenation?

Vaginal rejuvenation is a term used to describe restoring a more normal elasticity to the vagina and surrounding tissues using laser treatment. This treatment is accomplished through the use of the Fem Touch laser inserted into the vagina directly.  The treatment itself is painless and takes just minutes.  Laser treatment utilizing Fem Touch can improve vaginal elasticity, reduce discomfort with sex, increase lubrication, and decrease stress urinary incontinence.

Am I a candidate for vaginal rejuvenation?

Most women are candidates for Fem Touch treatment.  If you have had complicated gynecologic or urogynecologic surgery, we may need to review your surgical history with you prior to proceeding with treatment. 

Forever Young BBL

What does Forever Young BBL do? : Forever Young BBL is an innovative technology that uniquely delivers light therapy targeting the signs of aging, sun damage and redness to provide a more refreshed, rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Over time, skin will not only be more even and radiant, but also age more gracefully.

How long does the treatment take? : Treatment time varies depending on the area(s) treated. A full face treatment will take roughly 20-30 minutes to complete.

Is there downtime? : There is minimal downtime. Pinkness after treatment is common and usually last a few hours. Sensitive skin can expect pinkness to linger up to a few days. Makeup can be safely applied after treatment, if needed. Pigmentation is expected to get darker and more noticeable before gently flaking off. This process can take up to 14 days. 

Is there any preparation needed before treatment? : Before Forever Young BBL patients need to abstain from direct sun exposure for at least 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks post treatment. Stop retinol usage at least 5 days prior to treatment. All active ingredients (retinol, hydroquinone, vitamin c, AHA’s, etc) can be resumed after treatment when skin is no longer sensitive.  

How should I care for my skin after treatment? : Skin should be treated gently with a calming cleanser and moisturizer until sensitivity is gone. Proper SPF is also important. Sun protection should be applied whenever heading outside. Wearing a hat is also encouraged. 

How many sessions and how often? : Sessions will vary from patient to patient. On average, patients will need at least 3 treatments, 4 weeks apart for pigmentation and redness correction. Even after pigmentation and redness are resolved, treatments are encouraged in order to stimulate collagen for long term anti-aging results.

Who isn’t a candidate for Forever Young BBL? : Patients with metal implants, who are pregnant or have melasma are not candidates for Forever Young BBL. 

Radio Frequency (RF) Microneedling

What does RF Microneedling do? : Radio Frequency Microneedling is a tripolar, radio-frequency device that promotes regeneration of collagen and elastin to treat wrinkles, texture irregularities (acne scars) and sagging skin.

How long does the treatment take? : 45-75min depending on how many areas are being treated.

Is there downtime? : Redness and tenderness can be felt for up to 24-48hrs. There can be up to 6 days of minimal “cat-like” scratches. Can apply makeup after 24hrs. 

Is there any preparation needed before treatment? : Patients must have a skincare consultation before booking a treatment. Fitzpatrick 4-6 will need to pretreat with hydroquinone. Fitzpatrick 5 and 6 cannot receive acne scars/resurfacing treatment. All skin tones can pretreat with Alastin Nectar, but it is not necessary. No exfoliating products should be used at least 3-5 days prior to treatment. 

How should I care for my skin after treatment? : Alastin Nectar, Epionce aftercare kit or Avene aftercare kit (best if they did a resurfacing treatment for acne scars). 

How many sessions and how often? : 6 treatments, once a week. Then quarterly to maintain results.

Who isn’t a candidate for RF Microneedling? : Those who are pregnant, have pacemakers or metal implants in treatment area, currently have cancer, auto-immune diseases, uncontrolled diabetes or seizures, vascular disorders, Accutane in the last 6 months or skin that forms keloids.

CO2 Laser

What does CO2 do? : The CO2 Fractional resurfacing laser is carbon dioxide laser which precisely removes deep outer layers of damaged skin and stimulates the regeneration of healthy skin underneath. The CO2 treats fine to moderately deep wrinkles, photo damage, scarring, skin tone, texture, crepiness and laxity.

How long does the treatment take? : The exact time depends on the area that is being treated; However, typically it takes two hours or less to complete. This time frame includes an additional 30 minutes for topical numbing to be applied prior to treatment.

Is there downtime? : Yes, there is downtime associated with a CO2 laser treatment. Plan for 7-10 days for healing before you can go out in public. Your skin will scab and peel 2-7 days after treatment, and will be pink for 3-4 weeks. The exact healing time varies between person to person.

What can I expect after treatment? : Immediately following treatment, your skin will be warm and may be slightly red and swollen, depending on your customized treatment settings. Most patients are able to resume their daily activities within a week. To support you in the healing process, a daily skincare routine should be prescribed.

When will I see results? : The main advantages of CO2 is that results are visible after one single treatment. As your skin heals following the treatment, you will begin to notice an improvement in wrinkles, fine lines, tone and texture. Typically, you should expect to continue to see improvement for up to 18 months following the procedure.

How many sessions and how often? : Most patients only need one CO2 treatment to see results; However, some patients with deeper wrinkles or scarring may need multiple treatments to see results.

Who isn’t a candidate for CO2? : A CO2 laser treatment may not be safe for those with certain health problems. A CO2 laser treatment is not recommended for patients who are currently taking Accutane. Those with a history of difficulty healing or scarring are not candidates, as well as those with bleeding disorders. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not a candidate for the CO2 laser.

Body Contouring

What is non-surgical body contouring?

Non-surgical body contouring is a non-invasive way to remove fat in specific areas without any downtime.  Energy such as radio frequency (RF) is often times used to damage or kill the fat cells. This results in a smoother and slimmer appearance over time.

What type of body sculpting should I choose?

NuEra is a non-invasive temperature controlled radio frequency (RF) skin smoothing system. It is a very comfortable treatment that feels like a warm massage and has ZERO downtime.  RF energy is used to heat the skin’s surface and deeper tissue levels to treat small pockets of fat on the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, or bra and back fat.

EmSculpt is a RF based treatment that also tones muscle while helping burn fat. It is particularly useful to help build your six pack abdominal muscles.

Laser Hair Removal

Is laser hair removal covered by my insurance?

No, all med spa services are considered cosmetic and not covered under insurance.

What does laser hair removal treatment include?

Treatments include a complimentary consultation to discuss areas of treatment. We utilize the Gentle Max Pro machine which dispenses a blast of cryogen air simultaneously while treating the designated area. This allows for optimal patient comfort throughout the duration of the treatment.

How does laser hair removal work?

Light pulses created by our laser selectively destroy the follicle of hair by targeting melanin (color). The pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the light pulse generated by the laser, damaging the follicle just enough to prevent hair regrowth without harming the surrounding skin. By repetitively lasing the hair follicles over a course of several treatments, around 80+% of the follicles will be disabled to the point that they can no longer produce hairs.

How many sessions will it take? 

On average 6 treatments, some individuals may need between 8-12 treatments. 

Laser hair removal is permanent hair reduction. Some patients may require maintenance treatments once a year after completing a full treatment. 

How many weeks apart are treatments?

Depending on the area, treatments typically are 4-8 weeks apart. 

Who is not a candidate for laser hair removal? 

  • Areas with blonde and gray hair suitable for laser hair removal
  • Those pregnant or nursing are not candidates for this treatment 
  • Those with active infections; clients who are currently taking Accutane and photosensitizing antibiotics/medications cannot receive treatment 

How to prepare for your treatment

  • Shave 24 hours prior to your appointment
  • DO NOT pluck or wax hairs prior to the appointment
  • Avoid any direct sun exposure to the area you’ll be treating for 2-4 weeks prior and after 
  • Avoid self tanners 2 weeks prior to your treatment 
  • Avoid skin care products with irritants such as Glycolic Acid or Retin-A in the procedure 7 days prior to treatment 

What are post treatment instructions?

Avoid activities such as hot showers, working out, swimming pool, bathtub, hot tub, saunas, steam rooms, which can irritate the area.

What to expect after treatment

  • There can be swelling of each hair follicle of the treatment area for up to 2 hours, and redness in the area for up to 2-3 days.
  • The treated area may feel like a sunburn for a few hours following the treatment

Facials & Chemical Peels

What does a HydraFacial do?

Hydrafacial treatment is the only hydradermabrasion that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously.

What are the benefits of a HydraFacial?

Soothing and hydrating! Helps improve congested and enlarged pores and is great for all skin types.

What is the best facial for wrinkles?

The hydrafacial options are all great! The time options may vary so there is a choice for everyone, but all of them work to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and hydrate the skin, which can effectively improve wrinkles if a good home regimen and maintenance treatments are maintained!

How long do chemical peels last?

Depending on the depth of the peel, your face may have some flaking or shedding for 1-2 weeks after your peel. Once this happens the newly refreshed layer of skin will reveal itself causing you to glow! Each person is different, but the results from a peel can usually brighten your face for a few months.

Are chemical peels good for your skin?

They are good for skin! Like anything, chemical peels must be performed in moderation and by a skilled skin professional like our providers at Northwestern Med Spa.

Microblading

What is microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller brows.

How long does microblading last?

Depending on your skin type and lifestyle the longevity may vary. The average is 12-18 months.

Does it hurt?

Not usually. Numbing cream is applied liberally and sits for about 25 minutes prior to starting treatment. Most people don’t experience much pain, swelling or bleeding all thanks to the numbing cream!

How long does the appointment take?

About an hour and a half total.

What is the process like? 

Microblading is a two-part process. Following your initial appointment, you will come back for a follow up session 4-6 weeks after. From there, results last about 12-18 months and most clients find that they want a touch up around the 9 month mark. If you have an oily skin type, are in the sun a lot or super active you may need it closer to 6 months. If you have a dry skin type, are older or stay out of the sun you may be able to go longer and get your touch up closer to 12 months. Those touch ups are priced according to how many months after the initial.

Do you have previous eyebrow tattooing or microblading?

If you have previous tattoo and/ or microblading done, please email your artist a photo of your brows without any makeup to assess. 

How to prepare for your appointment

  • Do not consume blood thinners, such as alcohol or Advil 24 hours prior to treatment. 
  • You will not be able to submerge your brows in water or sweat for several days, we recommend exercising and shampooing your hair prior to your appointment. 

Aftercare instructions & what to expect 

  • Do not sweat or submerge the brows in water for several days following your treatment
  • You will be provided an ointment to  apply for a few nights after. 
  • The brows will go through a few different stages as they heal but it is most noticeable to you, not the outside world. You will receive an email after your appointment that includes your before and after pictures as well as aftercare instructions tailored to your skin type.

Is anyone not a candidate?

  • If you are pregnant or nursing it is at your discretion to have the service but if you have concerns please consult with your OBGYN before booking. 
  • If you are undergoing chemo treatments, we ask that you consult with your doctor and request a note if they say it is okay. 
  • Anyone taking blood thinners will not be able to do this treatmet

Does Microblading affect hair growth?

No it does not.

How long after microblading can I wear makeup?

Face make up can be worn right away, brow makeup can be used after one week (if necessary).


Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery



(312) 266-6240
676 N Saint Clair Street | Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611